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The branch of internal medicine comprises a very wide range of medical know-how about disorders that can afflict the young, adults and the elderly.
This specialist knows about all the common ways of testing for disorders, such as blood and urine tests and the use of X-rays, and determines which method should be used. He is able to select the correct mode of treatment. Where necessary he looks after his chronically-ill patients over a long period of time, even at home or in a hospice or care-home. An internist can also carry out minor operations, such as the stitching of wounds under local anaesthetic.
Where special treatment is needed, he hands his patients over to other specialists who have the appropriate training.
Internist training often represents the basis for further training in areas such as cardiology, rheumatology or gastroenterology.